Thursday, 6 September 2012

Duke of York in NI

His Royal Highness The Duke of York has been meeting staff and students involved in apprenticeships during his official visit to Northern Ireland.

During his first engagement, Prince Andrew visited Northgate Managed Services in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, to meet with staff and apprentices involved in its ICT Apprenticeship Scheme.


HRH, who is the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, was greeted by Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, and went on to meet Mr A Ross, Chief Executive, who accompanied HRH during the engagement.

Prince Andrew met with senior management and current and former apprentices to hear about the work of Northgate- the first IT company to launch an IT Apprenticeship Scheme in Northern Ireland.

Prince Andrew later visited Northern Regional College in Ballymena to see how apprentices there are being trained. HRH was greeted on arrival by His Worship the Mayor of Ballymena, Alderman P J McAvoy.

He also met the Hon Ian Paisley, MP for North Antrim, Dr Stephen Farry MLA, Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, and Trevor Neilands, Principal & Chief Executive of the Northern Regional College.

His Royal Highness began his tour with a visit to the Toyota Academy, where he met with staff and students and heard at first hand how the academy ensures a focus on apprenticeship and adult training, with highly qualified technical staff and well resourced facilities.

Joanne Donaghey, a Level 3 Mechatronics Apprentice, presented HRH with a gift of a puzzle/pen holder which had been designed and manufactured in the Engineering Centre.

Prince Andrew's final engagement was at a garden party at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, on Thursday afternoon.

The garden party was hosted by the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The Duke of York met about 2,500 invited guests from across Ulster society.

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